Paleo Diet. I headed out to Reading Terminal Market nice and early - before the place gets over run with tourists. I picked up a nice big chicken breast & turkey bacon at Godshall's Poultry and then headed over to Iovine Brother's to check out the fresh produce. I found some beautiful Rainbow Swiss Chard & Red Peppers. I stopped off at the Fair Food Farmstand for an apple to snack on on the walk home and saw something I had never seen offered, much less knew were locally produced - Emu Eggs. Apparently they are only available twice a year. I may have to come up with something to do with one of those before they are gone.
At this point I realized I was so focused on making something creative with the main dish, I completely forgot about the side dish. D'OH! Before deboneing the chicken breast, I grabbed a bag of spinach out of the freezer and hoped it would saute nicely with olive oil and garlic after thawing. I turned my attention to the chicken and carefully deboned the chicken breast giving me two nice thick breasts for our dinner and some nice chicken tenders for another day. This is another skill I learned in the Knife Skills class at Foster's - Thanks Chef Corbin! I do get a charge out of being able to go to the butcher and get whole chickens or whole breasts for a fraction of the cost of the boneless pieces and do it all myself.
The peppers came out of the bag cooled, soft, and juicy. It was easy to scrape the skin off by running the back of the knife over the charred skin. I tossed the skinned roasted peppers in the container that came with my Cuisinart Immersion Blender with a drizzle of olive oil. In a few whirls of the blade and I had a pink, creamy, & flavorful Red Pepper Pesto ready to go.
I sliced a pocket into each chicken breast and got ready to stuff them with the cooled Swiss Chard and Almond meal stuffing. With a little force I was able to fit all the filling into the chicken. The stuffed chicken went into the baking dish and covered with Red Pepper Pesto. While that was cooking away, I turned my overdue attention to the sidedish of sauteed spinach. Even with plenty of olive oil and garlic, the frozen spinach just couldn't be saved. The chicken would have to do.
Catlyn arrived and climbed the 6 flights to my apartment (damn the broken elevator!) with a bottle of Smoking Loon in hand... plus some homemade cookies for me. I opened the bottle and we enjoyed a predinner glass of wine. The chicken came out smelling and looking yummy (I, of course, forgot to take a photo of the completed meal - D'OH). We sat back and tucked into our chicken. It stayed moist and the stuffing was flavorful and filling. The Red Pepper Pesto gave it just a touch of sweetness.
We enjoyed the wine and chicken while watching the Winter Olympics and making snarky comments (mind you the 6 flights I have to walk until they fix my elevator quickly wind me). After dinner and relaxing, we checked out the bar at the newly opened Amis. It's a nice place with an interesting rustic menu. We enjoyed a couple of well crafted drinks from a friendly bartender. We discussed cooking and found out she was a photographer looking to do more food photos. We exchanged information and maybe you'll all be treated to some better photographs soon. I am sure we'll be headed back there soon to sample some of their foods. It was a good night with a good friend... who could ask for more.